Fate of General Assembly Bills Uncertain

The clock is ticking for lawmakers to get their work done.

37 of the session's 60 days are over. The state's $18.5 billion spending plan is still uncertain, but House Democrats say they have a plan to make up for a nearly $400 million dollar shortfall.

“We’ve talked about possibly refinancing the debt,” says House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green.

And there's renewed talk on at least a 25 cent hike in the cigarette tax.

“I think the governor needs to come out and say he will support us on this,” says Richards.

“I'm looking forward to hearing the details on the House plan and we'll go from there,” said Gov. Beshear, D-Kentucky.

One of 900 bills has been signed into law. That deals with giving veterans more time to renew their drivers' licenses after active duty. The governor's priority is casino gambling but lawmakers say they don't have enough votes to get it passed in the House.

“Well ,both the House leadership and I spent the weekend on it and we'll spend the first day or two of this week and see where we are,” said Gov. Beshear.

A cigarette tax hike..or any tax increase could be a hard sell in the Senate.

“I understand there is a revenue shortfall. But we're going to have to do what families do in times of shortfall..prioritize and tighten our belts,” said Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown.

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  • by Early Cuyler Location: Squidville on Mar 6, 2008 at 07:49 AM
    If we are in as bad a shape as the Guv is saying, (I believe he is lying through his teeth) then we need to up the Sales Tax for 2 years to 7%. This will have immediate impact on collecting revenue for the State. Quit singling out specific groups or things to tax like smoking or drinking etc. etc. I don't believe this State is inhabited by only Smokers and Drinkers. This is what we need in order to make this AN EQUAL BURDEN ON ALL KENTUCKY CITIZENS. If the Guv. signs this into Law and issues an Executive Order making it effective within 15 days of his signing we will see the revenue immediately and we will be ready to collect tax on all out of staters that will be coming to the lakes for a vacation. My God........look what we will make off of the 2010 Equestrien Games! We will be able to afford all kinds of things. This really isn't to hard for our Politicians up in Frankfort to understand.......is it?
  • by Diane Location: Mt.Sterling on Mar 4, 2008 at 09:02 AM
    If they act true to form they will try to pass this insane casino bill in some back room deal, late at night, probably before a break so they will be out of town and not have to answer to the press. Or they may be creative and do something dramatic like letting the Government get shut down to get enough public support to pass it. We shall see.
  • by abouttime on Mar 4, 2008 at 06:38 AM
    it's about time our house steps up and makes the decisions to stop pet Projects that don't help anyone...COMMON SENSE has got good ideas...I hope the "house" reads the comment section, also make jobs available so our families and graduates will not have to leave the state to get employment...keep it here, stop spending money on Gambling Ads...it's not going to happpen in KY....let's build up our state in the right way....stop giving money away....a lot of people have good ideas if we could just get the"house" to listen...thanks
  • by Common Sense on Mar 4, 2008 at 05:45 AM
    While we tighten our belts we should really be thinking how to improve the funding of state necessities. Kentucky MUST attract more technology based businesses and lead the nation in innovative solutions. Casinos aren't going to do that but what will? Answer: Encourage the farming industry to grow grapes and legalize the production of hemp. Encourage our state schools to nuture the state's students in their current state instead of excluding them in an effort to attract out of state students in a top 20 initiative. Growing the right educational base while cultivating a technological job market can really benefit Kentucky. It's time we step out of the stone age.
  • by c Location: fkt on Mar 4, 2008 at 03:55 AM
    I agree with Sen. Thayer, it's time the state tighten their belts. Quit wasting money on buildings & pet projects then there will be enough money to support the necessary programs! The people of Louisville can build that building & support the zoo, use those millions to help with education for ALL students! I don't understand why my tax dollars should be used to build ANY building that is not a government building! Let those who will benefit from such buildings finance them! There's way too much fat in the top of state government, get rid of some of those do nothing state employees like commissioners, deputy secretaries, etc. that will save alot of money. I have to choose between whether to buy food or medicine, so the government needs to do the same: start choosing which is more important! Citizens of KY do it everyday & the government is no better than we are! Stop wasting money on ANYTHING that's not absolutely necessary!
  • by Catsfanagain Location: Kentucky on Mar 4, 2008 at 03:23 AM
    Well I have to admit that even though I am normally against anything coming out of Mr. Richards and Governor Beshears mouth, I am in favor of the cigarette tax talked about here. $0.25 is not too bad of an increase. I am very very happy to see that the house still does not have enough votes to pass the Governors Casino Bill, and I pray it stays that way. It is time to move on and find other ways to fix our troubles. One thing I think that really needs looked at is the budgets of government supported organizations. Years ago I worked at a supplier to several types of government organizations. At the end of every physical year many of them, some from other states as well, would call and place massive orders. One time I made a comment about the size of an order I was taking and the person told me that they had to spend out their budget or it would be cut some the next year. Stuff like this is why every organization should be reviewed and budgets should be adjusted accordingly.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 4, 2008 at 03:19 AM
    Greed is good The housing industry Time to pay
  • by no casinos! on Mar 3, 2008 at 09:36 PM
    Adios gaming HaHaHa.
  • by Wilhemakeit Location: Lexington on Mar 3, 2008 at 09:01 PM
    Thank you Sen. Damon of Georgetown. It is good to see that someone thinks that the taxpayers don't have bottomless pockets. Please cut out the extra social programs and just pay for the essentials. And remember NO CASINOS
  • by Anonymous on Mar 3, 2008 at 03:57 PM
    gotta have some revenue from somwhere


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